Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Boy Day

And they look so innocent . . .
1. It had been a tough day.
2. We had three boys.
Those are my excuses . . .
The day had started out slowly.
Mark had sleep-walked and nearly mistook the closet for the bathroom.
Caught just in time.
Because I am superwoman.
Shortly thereafter (oooh, good word), Mark and Erik had staged an argument/battle over the TV remote.
I should explain, here, that the word 'remote' was largely optimistic at this point.
There was a device.
Attached to our VCR by a long cable.
Thus, 'remote'.
Moving on . . .
Our two oldest boys were fighting over it.
Mom won.
By banishing them to opposite sides of the family room.
Neither of which was close enough to the TV to allow access to said remote.
They were watching 'Black Hole'.
Again.
It was the only approximately 'family' movie that our newly fledged VCR rental outlet had.
Both of them could quote it by this time.
They began to discuss whether they should do what Mark wanted--watch it again--or flip over to the TV for the daily episode of Sesame Street. Erik's idea.
More arguing.
Won by Mom again, when she suggested, rather forcefully that the time had come for them to go outside and bother their father.
Whereupon (another good word) they found themselves in the great outdoors.
For a while, they sat and pouted.
Then their little brother, Duffy, who had the sense to follow their father when he first left the house, discovered the mud puddle.
A short time later, there was a timid tap at the front door.
I opened it.
There was a figure standing there.
Vaguely human in shape.
Roughly the size of my third son.
Several scrubbings later, I realized that it was, indeed, Duffy.
Whose brothers had doused him, quite literally, in his own discovery.
The culprits were discovered, some time later, hiding in the basement of the house their dad was building.
Still giggling.
I dragged them into the house.
To apologize.
And to eat lunch.
Was it really only noon?
They immediately began to argue over who got the yellow cup.
And where each of them would sit.
I settled it again.
No one got the yellow cup and neither of them got to sit remotely close to where they wanted. In fact, they were lucky to be sitting at all!
As they finally started scooping up Mac and Cheese, I told them, “I think I'm going to take the three of you in to the 'used kids' store and trade you in on girls!”
My second son looked at me, round-eyed. “Can you do that?”
I laughed. “No,” I reassured him.
“Oh.” He went back to scooping.
But sometimes, I wish . . .

8 comments:

  1. You should have said "Yes" and let them think for a few seconds. LOL My guess is they turned into amazing young men.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So very familiar. Except that my brother dowsed the youngest brother in tar...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TAR?! I will never complain again . . .

      Delete
    2. EC, I think you need to write about that ... how on earth do you get tar off a child??

      Delete
    3. I was very small and don't remember it. Family history says that the tar was allowed to harden and peeled away. Much scrubbing. Red skin replacing black skin.
      The same brother was covered in shoepolish by his siblings for his part as little black sambo in a school play. I believe much scrubbing took place then too.

      Delete
    4. Oh. Dear. ....Not exactly a beauty treatment ...

      Delete
  3. Some girls can give boys a run for their money (a certain Diane comes to mind, maybe) but in general they do seem to get in less trouble. Physically. Once they get to a certain age, it all goes sideways in the emotional department, but still.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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